Nicolas Batum is the role player the Dallas Mavericks need
The Mavs playoff series against the LA Clippers has exposed their flaws. They have no answers in defending Kawhi Leonard and Paul George. Both players are getting anywhere they want on the court, but perhaps more glaring is Dallas’ lack of depth.
Coach Rick Carlisle has not played more than eight players double-digit minutes in a game in the series. His shift to starting Boban Marjanovic and giving Dwight Powell significant run in Game 5 was a first. Still, only ten players have received more than ten minutes in any one contest this postseason.
The Mavericks have to add a forward that can defend on the perimeter with enough size and strength to check the likes of Kawhi Leonard, LeBron James, and the rest of the impossible to stop small forwards in the Western Conference.
Batum is not a lockdown option, but at 6’8 with a plus wingspan, he has the size to make life difficult on even the best players. He forced Luka Doncic into multiple difficult stepback 3-pointers in Game 4 on May 30.https://videos.nba.com/nba/pbp/media/2021/05/30/0042000174/360/23aae2fe-c09f-745d-2303-53e55c562759_1280x720.mp4
Batum shot over 40 percent from 3-point range this season and would give coach Carlisle another trusted option in the postseason that is capable of filling multiple roles. He can handle the ball and attack the basket too. The Dallas Mavericks need more of those players if they are going to become serious title contenders in 2022, but can they convince Nicolas Batum to come to Dallas?
Next: Batum to Dallas?